Little #FOKkers

At or about 8 p.m. Monday night, human character changed.

A Mr. Keith Olbermann, of New York City, recently employed by a General Electric subsidiary, posted a notice to a popular messaging system. The notice included the cryptic expression “#FOK”, which readers were to understand was shorthand for “Friends of Keith”. Within minutes, #FOK was formally recognized by the messaging system as a highly popular expression.

As this trend was emerging, we happened to be reading a blog post that was highly critical of Mr. Olbermann, apparently because Mr. Olbermann was highly adept at agitating the writer’s rental companion:

My roommate, a sincere liberal and a nice enough guy, got more riled up by the program than I did. His muscles tightened. His blood pressure rose. Sometimes he even muttered to himself under his breath. Then the show ended. I’d switch the channel to a Lakers game or that John Adams miniseries. Fifteen minutes later, my roommate would forget what he was angry about. It seems to me that Olbermann’s show often brought out the worst impulses in people: petulance, self-righteousness, and blind anger at “the other side.” I appreciate that for others, the experience was different.

If by “different” you mean “suitably diverting dinnertime entertainment”, then yes. We can’t imagine anybody taking Keith Olbermann’s Hour of Glower seriously, but this wouldn’t be the first time our imagination has been found wanting.

Because apparently, many people did.

And, quite honestly, they’re starting to frighten us.

We don’t dispute that Olbermann’s program was noteworthy in the very small world of cable news. In that respect, in that very narrow context, it’s fair to say that he performed a public service. It’s even fairer to say that he performed a professional service, showing how a cable news program could be entertainingly presented, without holograms, or handheld cameras wandering all over the place, or a giant disco monitor doing its best to distract you from whatever the bearded monotonal host is blathering.

Just a man, at a desk, with a sheaf of paper to toss at the camera. Give the dude credit for sheer presence.

But that’s what seems to be the problem: His Presence has overwhelmed what he was Presenting. We caught a glimpse of this last fall, during his brief “suspension” for violating basic journalistic ethics: His fans came out in droves to support him. They signed petitions by the hundreds of thousands. Adulation like that must be smothering. It can really fuck with your mind.

That’s when Keith Olbermann became a Rock Star. He no longer had mere viewers — now he had serious fans. Committed fans. Fans who would take his side, no matter what. Fans who were waiting all weekend for that Monday-night signal — not unlike, God help us, equally mindless fans waiting for Sarah Palin’s next tweet.

And when the signal was sent, they responded: We love you, Keith!

Oh, and: #FOK!

It’s the hashtag that turned us. On a fucking dime. We went looking. We had to be sure. Maybe #FOK had been floating around all weekend, and we hadn’t noticed. Maybe it was a Team Coco thing: a joke, immediately adopted by the public, and memorialized as Inevitable by the designee.

But no. It was brand-new. Keith Olbermann had invented the hashtag for himself. And it was immediately adopted by his adoring fans. A Cult is Born.

Olbermann took it all too far. But boy, could he play guitar.


Keith Olbermann… his heart is in the right place. But, man, I’ve never felt comfortable with him as the titular head of the Outraged Left.

Ben Affleck’s 100% spot-on SNL parody pretty much sums up the reasons why. And the fact that Olberman took offense at the skit removes all doubt.

Keith, we’re fellow travellers, but for God’s sake try to tkae yourself a little less seriously.

The show was embarrassingly badly reported which is not a surprise for TV but to turn it on and see reported out as fact the stuff that ran the same day on a blog made you wonder how much effort he was dedicating to novel investigations that would produce, you know, like, news. Or even fact-checking the crap he scooped up from the Web. I watched parts of it while traveling on business and was creeped out both times.

Looks like it might be time to do a remake of Life of Brian and call it “Life of Keef Oh”

Fuck FOK and all the FOKkers. I’m snowed in. There’s no hot water (still). And I have to get to JFK. But first I have to go into the cellar. FOK!

been saying for a while that Olby was the Beck of the left.

same effect. same ilk of fans.

@Serolf Divad:
to me his “outrage” never seemed genuine. not once.

@Benedick: What are using to insulate the hot water pipes? Any way to divert some heat from the boiler (if you have one) to the pipes?

@FlyingChainSaw: Insulation? I’m touched.

It’s an old house. The cellar is fieldstone and was built before running water. That’s not the problem. Rooms were added on – including the kitchen – which needed water lines to be run outside the cellar through small and inaccessible spaces which makes them very vulnerable. I keep taps running in really cold weather but I guess not enough was running through the hot line on the very very cold nights we’ve had so it froze. It will come back. It’s a question of waiting till the heat gets to them from the heaters I’ve got running. I’m just glad the cold line didn’t freeze too.

If replumbing inside isn’t an option, it might be useful to look into pipe insulation. There are great poly-ethylene and synthetic rubber pipe treatments out there that won’t break the bank, most you can do yourself after reading through the install manuals, requiring little more than tape and a razor for tools.

Yay! Team Coco!! Fuck Jay Leno! Whooo!

…wait. What?

@FlyingChainSaw: Trouble is getting to the pipes. We idd some of that when the downstairs bathroom was rebuilt. But there is a cold spot that no one can find. The plumber and the builders were all adamant about not using heat tapes because of fire risk. Meantime I can”t run the microwave without blowing the fuses.

@Benedick: The PE wraps should be able to hold a pipe and guide it while someone pushes the wrap forward and over it. In a tight corner, you might be able to rig up an electrician’s wall snake to give you a third hand.

@FlyingChainSaw: It’s a matter of getting through an opening about 9in by 12. It just can’t be done.

Now I’m off to JFK. Woo hoo.

@Benedick: Show it to an electrician before you give up, one that has had to negotiate the confines of plaster walls and closely set wooden beams and support studs in old homes. They may have some ideas for you about how to work within those confines.

LMAO Olbertwat was FIRED from a liberal bastion for being to ignorant, you really want that scum to represent a group of people? What a looser he is and anyone who follows him is.

BY Bill on 01/25/2011 at 09:29

I take it Bill is not a fan.

Benedick – I lived in a 100+ year old house for almost 20 years. I had the same problem in my kitchen and it’s foundation was field stone as well as the main structure. I still had clapboard and fixed the problem by taking some of the clapboard off and insulating/sealing the wall with the sink.

A neighbor who already had vinyl siding over the clapboard dealt with the issue by wiring up an old computer fan to blow into the same gap as the plumbing. It circulated the basement air through the chase with the pipes keeping them above the freezing point. I think he got a 3 prong extension cord from the store and cut off the female end. He then hardwired it to the fan so there was no speed control.

Regarding KO, I started watching him off and on after seeing one of his rants posted somewhere, Agitprop maybe? He was raging at the the mainstream press for not calling out Bush/ Rumsfeld/ Chaney as liars whenever they were interviewed. I think he was particularly pissed because there were so many opportunities with Rummy. It seemed he gave interviews almost daily and he lied every time his lips moved.

Speaking of Daily, Stewart has said basically the same thing but with more civility and a wittier sarcasm.

Lewis Black rants better than anyone else I’ve seen. When the subject matter is deadly serious (Bush/ Cheney) I cry laughing and with anger.

Hot water came back. I’m in Vienna. It’s a lot like Manchester today but with bigger buildings.

Thanks for the ideas. It’s not the walls it’s the 2ft thick fieldstone. But that fan idea sounds promising. The problem lies in places no one can get at.

@Snorri Haraldsson: Glad you had a safe trip! It’s snowing like crazy here.

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